Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
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Random dribbles on the Cavaliers’ 100-99 road win over the Hawks in Game 4 Sunday, completing another playoff sweep.
1. It’s hard to know where to begin with the Cavaliers right now. Eight playoff games. Eight wins. Another trip to the Eastern Conference finals. And Kevin Love looks happy.
2. Actually, according to an excellent inside look at the Cavs by Cleveland.com’s Chris Haynes, Love is happy. So are the rest of the Cavs. And man, is it ever showing on the court.
3. That isn’t to say things are perfect. The Cavs probably aren’t where they need to be defensively. But that sure is nitpicky. For one, they’re getting stops when they need ’em — Tristan Thompson’s late block in Game 4 serving as just one shining example. For another, well, 8-0.
4. Love took 25 shots in 37 minutes Sunday. That was a team high. Wonder why the guy is happy? That’s a joke, but there is some truth to it. The Cavs are looking for Love, and in all the right places.
5. Love finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds. LeBron James went for 21 points, 10 boards and nine assists — and forced the jump ball with 2 seconds left that basically ended the series.
6. Kyrie Irving almost seemed like a “third fiddle” again. One Twitter follower even asked, “What’s wrong with Kyrie? Is he sick?” Ah, yes. The Twitter crowd. Sometimes witty and lovable, sometimes something far different than that.
7. Truth is, Irving was just fine, compiling 21 points himself. He went 8-of-16 from the floor. He passed for eight assists. He played a complete game. So what’s wrong with Kyrie? Just a hunch, but I surmise not a darn thing.
8. Kyrie on the sweep: “This is more than I dreamed of. It’s what I genuinely enjoy about basketball, playing with great guys.”
9. LeBron on the state of the Cavs: “We’re in a great rhythm right now. We know exactly where we want to be on the floor.”
10. Thompson finished with 10 rebounds. Interestingly, J.R. Smith took just four shots in 36 minutes for three points. That seems a little odd, but … 8-0.
11. As for the Hawks, well, who knows what’s next. This is a good team and a classy organization. You have to keep Mike Budenholzer, the coach and man in charge of the roster. But it may be time to say goodbye to Kyle Korver (next year is a contract year). Also, Al Horford and Kent Bazemore are free agents. A shakeup is likely.
12. Back to the Cavs. Iman Shumpert played his best postseason game with 10 points. He actually looked confident out there. Channing Frye followed his monster Game 3 with eight points. Shumpert and Frye were each 3-of-6 shooting.
13. The Cavs now have 11 straight wins over the Hawks, dating back to the conference finals last season. That’s domination, folks.
14. Question is, will the next round be any tougher for the Cavs? They’ll play either the Raptors or the Heat. Both of those teams remain fickle well into the playoffs. The Cavs, on the other hand, are clearly on solid ground.